Wind Turbines Play In Paradise, But Not In Falmouth

Posted in the Vineyard Haven Forum

Jack Kelly

Jamestown, RI

#1 Mar 25, 2013

Wind Turbines Play In Paradise, But Not In Falmouth
Mar. 22, 2013 Joe Desposito | Electronic Design

Trouble In The Winds At Falmouth

Coincidentally, while watching TV during my trip, I caught a news segment about wind turbines that had been erected in Falmouth, Mass., in 2010. According to the report, the town had been in discussions about this installation since 2002.

It took so long to deploy not because of opposition to the project, but because the community wanted to take advantage of state and federal grants and incentive programs to make this energy source economically viable. While the community initially approved the project, now it wants to take the turbines down—at a considerable cost.

There are two main complaints, noise and health—not the change in a very scenic view. The Falmouth project, unlike the one in Hawaii, uses only two turbines. According to reports, they are Vestas V 82 1.65-MW commercial wind turbines. The Vestas Web site ( ) no longer lists this model, but similar models are available.

With regards to noise, tests conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection revealed that sound levels from one of the two turbines exceeded the 10-dBA threshold that MassDEP defines as unacceptable under both high and low wind conditions.

The noise is not a constant sound, but more of an impulse sound like a swoosh. There’s also an inaudible low-frequency sound, called infrasound. Reported health issues have included headaches, vertigo, sleep interruptions, and ringing in the ears.

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